New Holland Existential: Hopwine | New Holland Brewing Company

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New Holland Existential: HopwineNew Holland Existential: Hopwine

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by alexgash on 01-04-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 137 | Ratings: 142
Photo of akorsak
3.23/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A 65 cL bomber purchased at Capone's. I am drinking the ale from a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass.

A: The ale is an orange-brown color, closer I think to the orange side of the spectrum. The head exceeded 1.5 fingers and is lacing nicely thusfar in the glass.

S: The term hopwine is appropriate here. It conjures up a wheat or barleywine malt bomb met with big hops. The nose is hoppy but much more significantly it is matly. Thick to the point that the grains take on a tart grape-like flavor.

T: On first sip, the strong sweet malts almost overwhelm the palate. That sweetness is nicely cut by a strong hop flavor that fails to define itself as anything beyond bitter. The big malt flavors and hop bitterness can't distract the drinker from the alcohol warmth that sits just below the surface. That warmth is quite intense and not afraid to kick you around.

M: The mouthfeel is muddled with the big hops and big grains. Both flavor elements struggle to stand out and make an impression. The result is an interesting blend that never quite comes together.

D: The 10.5% abv is through the roof. That, coupled with the ill-defined body, makes me content to stop at one bottle.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.26/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Hate to say its amber…but it is. Really, simply, amber. The head is quite stunning; thick and creamy, looking like whipped butter perched on top of the brew.

S: Bubble gum, soap, caramel, butterscotch.

T: Begins sweet, almost cloying. Really malty, lot of caramel and butterscotch. Where the hell are the hops? It you put a hop on the bottle, you better have some hops in the beer. There’s a little bit around the tip of the tongue with a nip of bitterness, but not enough. Moves to a buttery trend wit minor apple and tropical sweetness.

M: Medium body and syrupy.

D: This in one boring beer. Not bad but quite boring. Seriously, listed as a double IPA? Don't you have to be an IPA before you can be listed as a double?

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Photo of Bighuge
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Tarnished amber/scarlet red. Slightly hazed. Thin off white head. A bubbly collar leaves sporadic patches of lace down the walls of my glass.

Aroma: Nice mix of malt and hops for this beer. It's got the nice caramel and toffeeish malt backbone. But also the resinous, smoky and piney hop aromatics. And some notes that remind me of orange marmalade as well.

Taste/MF: Nice complexitites here, though I'd still like to see some more hop flavors and bitterness for a beer of this style. They call this hop wine and I understand the "wine" part of it due to the noticeable alcohol character. And though the hops are there, and are piney, floral and perfumey, they are not there in the quantity that I like in an Imperial IPA. This is still quite a good beer (much better than the I2PA from Sprecher I had last night). The malts give a nice firm foundation of caramelized fruits and toffeish notes. The alcohol is noticeable, but integrated somewhat nicely given the 10+ octane level of this. Medium bodied and easy flowing.

Drinkability: This is a beer I'd try again. Especially if I saw it on tap. I'd know enough not to expect a hop bomb, but that's o.k. I'll look at this more as a Barleywine or Strong Ale.

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Photo of scott
3.03/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2


Dark copper sporting a nice medium-tight head and a fair amount of carbonation. Sweet aroma with slight citric notes, and gluttonous hops lurking down deep.
This is a bit too syrupy for this session, but it might be perfect for a cool Fall night. Truthfully, it doesn't taste like much of anything. The aroma fools you, and this tastes like a beer that is a little past its prime. It's not necessarily cloying, but lays heavy on the tongue with a semi-bitter finish.
Like all leery speculation, this really doesn't have much focus, due to the fact it falls short of being a barleywine or big IPA.
Normally, NH never does anything less than spectacular in my book, so I rather not to slam it. It is hard to appreciate this offering, though.

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Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Substantial malt, with brown sugar gravitating toward a syrupy mouthfeel. Loads of hops, green and herbal with some rough saw-tooth edge at the finish. A touch of alchohol fusels lend a sharp punctuation to the back - high abv comes as no surprise here. Solid entry in the DIPA camp.

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Photo of oberon
3.49/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an oversized wine glass a clear deep bronze/burnt orange with a large tight pillowey slight off white head that settled slowly leaving a nice ring around the glass.Wow very mild aromas for the style and tame for such a big beer I pick up some brown sugar and dark fruit with the hops being faint in a piney form.Flavors to me are no where near a American DIP to me its kind of in the English Barley Wine style with its big juicy maltiness but the hop presence in the finish makes me think American Barley Wine but not DIPA.Starts out very sweet like honey,brown sugar and alcohol dipped dark fruit not quite cloying but close,a drying resiny,piney hop lingers in the finish.If you were to categorize this as an American Barley Wine I would say okay I can see it but not DIPA.

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Photo of bditty187
4.11/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, bronzed peach with a coppery-gold influence, I even see a tickle of amber as well. I like the color. Off-white foam; thick and frothy, at the apex the head was only a half finger tall. However, the head retention was decent as the bubbles steadily faded to a soapy cap (and eventually a thin collar). Subsequent lacing was spotty and not very widespread. Still, overall, this is an attractive looking beer with plenty of color complexities.

The nose shows plenty of sweetness. The loudest aromas are the sweet/sour caramel apple notes, red grapes, raisins, and splash of tropical fruit. Muddled hoppiness, which I don’t care for; the mix of resin, pine, earth, and hints of citrus fight the apple aromas and clash with the caramel malt/brown sugar vibes. The conflict doesn’t work. IMO, the nose is too messy. Nothing standouts. The malt is vocal but it gets shouted out in the end. The more I smell it, the more “sugar” I detect. Moderate potency… the nose doesn’t do much for me. It really isn’t inviting, I’ll call it interesting. EDIT: After about halfway through the bottle the nose lost much of the muddled aromas but a nasty nail polish hotness arrived. No matter how I cut it the nose isn’t working for me.

Wow. Where did this come from? The palate has ample bitterness and a wonderful complex hoppy profile. Earthy undercurrents allow pine, spruce, hints of marijuana resin, and grapefruit rinds to shine. The caramel malt lands firmly in the middle, it is fairly hardy and firm. I am impressed. I’m surprised. The fruitiness is quite subtle and plays nicely with the other flavors. Much more bitter than I was expecting. While the alcohol is noticeable it is not too much. The toffee and brown sugar only add another layer of complexity. Clean ending, which works because there is a large amount of lingering hop flavors and bitterness. Much drier then the nose led on. The palate is really put together. The beer really suits my palate. This is a hoppy barleywine with true flavors of both a DIPA and a Barleywine. Well done!

Medium/medium-full in body, creamy, smooth carbonation; the mouthfeel fits this beer well. The mouthfeel instructs me to sip and savor (as does the palate). Sometimes I get mixed messages. Not so much here. Lovely.

Screw styles. Many DIPAs are damn near a barleywines and hoppy American barleywines are awfully close to a big DIPA. So, this beer bridges some imaginary gap. I’m sure some beer geeks will dislike this beer simply because it is a bastard ale. I for one love it. The aromas concerned me but the palate, mouthfeel, and drinkability shine. Speaking of drinkability, I am enjoying sipping and savoring every ounce. What a nightcap! The mix of bitter hops, rich hop flavors, sweet (but restrained) maltiness, fruitiness, and a clean (think not cloying) finish really makes this beer noteworthy, IMO. I am impressed. Thank you RedHaze!!

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Photo of lonestar4lunch
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was outstanding.... I was at the Lake Country Beer festival on Saturday and was lucky enough to try some before it was all gone. (From notes)

Nice sweet aroma with a nice hop touch in the nose. Very crisp with just a touch of hops to start with. I kept getting some fruit, almost like a prune sweetness but it wasn't too much. This was quite smooth and finishes very clean.

Very glad to give this one a try and would for sure recomend!

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, bright amber body with a lush, bubbly off-white head.

Smell: Light, delicate aroma of caramel, green tea, and tangerines.

Taste: Sweet and somewhat grainy with the taste of caramel flanked by hop flavors of juicy tangerines and a sprinkling of pine needles. Finishes bittersweet and also resinous and soapy.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Mild carbonation.

Drinkability: Not really as hoppy as the front of the bottle led me to believe.

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a hazy amber color. With a one inch head that recedes into nice lacing. The aroma is of grape fruit, passion fruit, with a strong underlying caramel sweetness. The taste is very sweet considering this is a DIPA. It is clear that this beer is very bitter, but its bitterness is overpowered by its sweetness. The mouthfeel is full bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this is a decent beer, but there are so many better DIPAs out there that I cannot see myself buying this again.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has a light toasted-brown body that is crystal clear with a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles. There is a thick spongy film that fades into a film pretty quickly.

S- This beer has a sweet caramel malt and sugary smell with a green hop note and a light citrus perfume note to it.

T- The sugary sweet caramel malt flavor has a note of sweet honey with a soft green hops flavor. There is an alcohol finish that is covered by the hop bitterness that hangs on after each sip.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a nice alcohol heat that is pretty smooth.

D- The biggest hops are on the label. In the bottle the hops are pretty soft compared to the sweet simple malt flavors. The bitterness of the hops is stronger than the flavor but both are lighter than I expect for an IPA.

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Photo of merlin48
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle pours a hazed peach body with a three finger offwhite head that retains well and generously laces the snifter with loads of sticky lace.

Aroma begins with a sharply aggressive hoppiness. Grapefruit and lemon rind up front, with notes of pine resin soaked caramel. This smells thick.

Mouthfeel is quite full for style. Medium carbonation.

Taste is pleasantly complex. Lots of fruity citrus, mostly grapefruit. Hints of orange and lemon. Big chewy maltiness serves up a caramel backbone. Alcohol is disguised very well.

Substantial and meaty. A nice DIPA that is rewarding and challenging.

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Photo of trep
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into my De Rank stem'd snifter.

Orange honey hue with a 1" thick white head that leaves lacing as it fades. Looks pretty good. Super malty in the nose with a good bit of hops as well. Some alcohol and some citrus notes.

Initially very bitter from the hops, but the malt really comes through later on. Sweet as can be, caramel all the way through. Finishes with a white grape aftertaste.

Thick, syrupy body with low carbonation. Very smooth though, and not overly bitter like I would have suspected. I would say this is more of an english barleywine than double IPA. Pretty easy drinking considering the amount of alcohol, hops, and malt present.

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Photo of Onibubba
3.28/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Went in to this one thinking straight up DIPA. Dark amber pour, not as dark as 90 Minute or Stone 10th, but darker than a Ruination. Short beige head that doesn't stick around long. Nice smell, but not the overpowering hop bomb I was expecting - Much more subtle. There is a real balance of sweetness versus the hop bitterness, but from a beer with a huge "bud" artfully screened onto the bottle, balance is not what I wanted. Hops seem more resiny than citrusy in this one.

Mouthfeel and drinkability are OK. Carbonation is light, and this just slides down your throat, but the alcohol stops it from being a sipper. All and all, not a bad beer, but in a field of exceptional beers, you really need to stand out more. Not a repeat purchase.

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Photo of shbobdb
3.23/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer just didn't come together for me.

An IIPA needs to have big malt that is absolutely overwhelmed by even bigger hops, and that didn't happen here. The nose, for example, was a mix of really pretty muted citrusy hops, a lot of bready malt, and an overpowering blast of alcohol. The three were pretty much in balance with each other. The taste followed suit.

That could have been fine. After all, I generally gravitate towards more balanced beers. However, the malt component of this beer was really pretty boring. It tastes pretty much like straight domestic two-row. No flourishes from specialty malts, no interesting twists with the base malt . . . just straight barley. And, for my money, 'alcohol' in beer isn't a taste I particularly like. So, the malt is boring, and the alcohol makes up another third, so two-thirds of this beer is at best, pretty dull. As I said earlier, the hops weren't bad, but there really needed to be more of them with a base this boring.

The mouthfeel was really thick and rich. If this had been a better beer, I would have loved how it coated my mouth. As it is, meh.

The beer isn't a bad beer really . . . but it just isn't enough. IIPA is not a style that lends itself to words like 'balance' and 'subtlety'. If you are going to make a beer like that, why crank up the alcohol? Why not just make a balanced IPA or even an APA?

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I don't know about a hopwine. When I think of such terminology, I imagine the Avery 10 and 11's of the world; and especially Dogfish 120 Minute. This beer doesn't stand up to those larger-than-life beers. The beer begins with a promising pour: solidly copper and a firm, withstanding foamstand. Aromas of fresh fruit (apples, oranges, grapefruit, mangos, and appricots) swirl around hearty barley malts and obvious alcoholic presence. The flavors are a surprising balance of malts and hops. The citrus fruits stand up to the proclaimed hop additions and never waver. This keeps the beer from realizing the 'hopwine' promise. Despite the balance, this is a good heavy blend, but hendered by the higher, defiant alcohols -- fusals. All said and done, the beer is worth drinking and enjoying, but can't compete with so many other high-gavity IPA's.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.35/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle, 10.5 % ABV. Hazy copper color, with an off-white foamy head. Good retention for the size of the beer.

Nose is full of alcohol, fruits, including peaches, pine, and candy.

Malt jumps out at the front. Sticky, sweet caramel, seems to be cloying. The malt character seems to be pretty muddy, and overtakes things a bit. Not a great deal of hop bitterness or flavor. Fades into an earthy and dirty flavor.

Some warming from the alcohol. Medium body. Something just doesn't seem right. Seems a bit cloying.

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Photo of benito
3.86/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very challenging and hoppy barleywine, Existential is the latest High Gravity offering from New Holland.

Copper to dark amber in color with a little ring of head and virtually no visible carbonation. The aroma is unassuming: noteworthy only for its lack of distinction, yet it cloaks a beer chock full of flavor. Notes of cinnamon, pepper, and cotton candy with a bitter, celerial edge (strangely, the vegetal notes really work to complement the bitterness here!) and it finishes dry, quick and bitter.

The bitterness makes this deceptively drinkable for a barley wine, and the speed with which the flavors dissolve into a hop-dominated finish leaves me begging for more of the malty sweetness that began each swig.

A fine barleywine for winter, or in my case, summer enjoyment. Relative to New Holland's other high gravity brews, this isn't as distinguished as Pilgrim's Dole (a great beer), but it's at least as worth as Black Tulip

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Photo of blitz134
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly cloudy, light caramel body. Small white head on the pour. Reduced to a skim layer with a ring around the edge.

Syrupy sweet with caramel and candy, a touch of raw sugar. A good dose of hops with some pine sap and some floral and citrus hints as well, tropical fruit nuances.

Caramel malty body with a lot of bitterness over the top. The amount of malt balances it well but the hops and carbonation make this crisp and a bit bitter. Pine sap again, some herbal and floral notes. Super hoppy burps bring citrus and other sweet flavors back. A touch of alcohol, but nothing that detracts at all. I kind of agree with others who call this more of a barleywine, but with its hop level I think it falls into the strong ale category given its sugary and malty characteristics.

Mouthfeel is full and a touch syrupy. Coats the mouth and the flavor lingers. Carbonation is there and makes it tingly on the tongue.

This is a good beer throughout. Easy to drink given its size.

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Photo of RedHaze
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very cloudy dark caramel brown, with a one finger head that settles slowly to a soapy cap. The lacing is thick and very sticky, leaving large chunks of foam.

Smell; lots of caramel and toffee malts, with some cherries. As expected there's definitely a big hop presence with citrus and floral hops, but there's also a bit of a rubbing alcohol aroma that, while not really all that strong, is enough to detract from the aroma a bit..

Taste; very much hop dominated by the hops, with citrus a little pine and a touch of floral hops, but this also has a very big malt presence. There's caramel, toffee, molasses a little brown sugar and some cherries and dates as well. In the finish there's a spicy alcohol, but that wasn't at all surprising considering the very high ABV.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, almost syrupy, and despite the big alcohol content this goes down surprisingly easy. This tastes more like a hoppy barleywine than a double IPA to me, but who really cares how you classify it. This is a pretty darn good beer regardless. I'm happy to see New Holland try something like this.

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Photo of wharfrat1
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 22 oz. Bomber bought at Hyde Park Wine & Spirits served in a Duvel tulip glass

A-Orangish hue, almost to a slight amber color. Has a light, inch and a half white head that dissipates relatively quickly. It does leave a fair amount of lace around the glass

S-Dominated upfront by piney notes from the hops, also can get a whiff of the alcohol, which at 10.5% is not surprising. There is some underlying maltiness, but the smell is dominated by the hops.

T-First and what stands out the most is piney, syrupy hops. Not completely overwhelming but definitely dominant. In the middle and towards the end is light,fruity maltiness, and than back to the pine at the end with finish of warming alcohol notes.

M-Has a syrupy feel, with some light carbonation that has some sweetness and alcohol at the end. The syrup is there for the entire ride.

D-This has a nice balance between malt and hops with the hops dominant but not overstaying their welcome. It's a nice sipper but you can taste the alcohol in the finish. Definitely a sipper.

O-A darn tasty brew. I love hops and you get plenty here, but they don't destroy the flavor with too much bitterness. Well balanced with the malt and the alcohol kick. I can see where people see this more as a barleywine. It lacks the overall hop kick that a DIPA would suggest, but again there is plenty of piney, hoppy notes in this brew. I definitely look forward to trying this again!

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Photo of ultralarry2006
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber. Leaves a one finger tan head that has very good retention and very good lacing. Body is a clear orange tinted amber.

Smell - caramel, toffee, and candied fruit fill the nose. Some pine resin and toatsy malt biscuits as well.

Taste - caramel, toffee, pine resin, candied fruit, toasty malt biscuits, and spicy alcohol. Very yummy, this tastes like an American barleywine except with much less hop emphasis than is usual in an American barleywine.

Mouthfeel - full bodied, much hop oil slickness, and slightly semi-dry.

Drinkability - this is very, very good ale, only the high abv limits sessionability. This is listed here as a DIPA, but I think this is a Barleywine, especially since I find the hops to be relatively subdued for a DIPA, or for that matter, a Barleywine ( American-style, that is ), but it's very good whatever you want to call it.

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Photo of klewis
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a deep golden with a frothy head that quickly disappears but leaves lots of lacing.

S: Balanced smell with aromas of toffee, citrus, and floral hops.

T: Much like the smell except with a heavy alcoholic taste and a strong bitterness in the finish.

M: Full-bodied, thick, and syrupy. Fine carbonation.

D: There's potential here, but the alcohol is far too overwhelming for the subtle flavors that are trying to come through. Worth a try, but I doubt I'll have this one again.

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Photo of bruachan
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

i'm not sure about the mix-up btw this and the other entry. this seems to be the correct one. it's giving me sartrean dread just worrying about it

hazy orange/red. the head is nice enough, despite some heavy alcohol.

bigaromas. i like the designation "hopwine"--hoppy. some caramel/butterscotch aspects to it. despite the size, it's very manageable. the flavor, however, is a real kick in the teeth. super bitter and big on the malt-derived flavors

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Photo of hoppymeal
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I've decided to review this beer here although there is obviously two listings. I'm reviewing here from the bottle as the bottle states existential ale, however at the winterfest and also at the pub I have seen it called existential hopwine. It is definitely a barleywine though, not a dipa as it is listed here. Anyways-
Pours a medium to dark copper, mainly clear, a small whitish head slowly receds, lacing as it does so. Aroma is of faint sweet citrus notes and a strong alcohol aroma, like a fruit brandy. Also some soft sugary sweetness and vegetable grassiness. Taste is big sweet caramel notes, sweet maltiness with some faint citrus flavors and a little apple flavor as well. Rich and full bodied this beer is definitely loaded with malty sweetness, it is definitely strong on the hops as well, but they are playing second role as a balancer here to the malts, a nice alcohol punch in the finish warms and cuts the sweetness. Carbonation is very soft and works well with the soft sugary body. Delicious beer, would like to see some more hop flavor and aroma but a great barleywine. Doesn't appeared to be bottle conditioned but still seems like a good aging candidate.

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New Holland Existential: Hopwine from New Holland Brewing Company
3.83 out of 5 based on 142 ratings.
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